Foreign Relations

by Caro


For Isilya's Literary Challenge


Disclaimer: A girl can dream but unfortunately, so not mine.

A/N: For Isilya's Literary Challenge.
Question: What's the best way to cook snails? Word to use: Vodka
Taboo Word: said

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to my betas, Belli and Bexless, for all their help and encouragement. They have so much more faith in me than I have in myself and I'm very grateful for having met such good people in fandom. Any remaining mistakes are entirely mine. An extra thanks to Melo for finding me the recipe and isilya for issuing the challenge.

Summary: "Would you believe," Clark squeaked, "that snails get me hot?"


"Ew," Clark grimaced, peering into the pot. "They're disgusting."

"They're delicacies," Lex replied, smirking.

Clark wasn't convinced. "I don't think I'd feed them to Marcie, Mr. Bex's prized pig."

"That's good, Clark, because we have no intention of feeding them to Marcie." Lex laughed. "Now get cracking, because we need to make sure they're ready in time for your dinner tonight."

Clark shook his head. He really should have known better than to ask Lex's help with the cultural dinner at the high school, but when he'd realized that he'd spend most of Lex's visit preparing for the dinner, he'd scrambled quickly to find a way to do both. Damn Pete for getting him roped into this dinner in the first place. He certainly wouldn't have agreed to it if he'd known Lex would be in town this weekend.

It had been three months since Lex had moved to Metropolis. LexCorp had simply gotten too big to be managed adequately from Smallville, and Lex had opened new headquarters in the city over the winter. Early in the New Year, he'd switched residences to the Metropolis penthouse; while there were many phone calls and the occasional visit, it wasn't the same as when Lex lived in Smallville. Senior year hadn't been as exciting, not when he couldn't run over to Lex's after school to tell him about whatever latest crisis occurred in his daily life. Well he could, but it certainly would give away the secret.

But Lex was here for the weekend and Clark wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. However, he'd already committed to the International Club Cultural dinner. He'd been surprised when Lex volunteered to help him with it, claiming a superior knowledge of French cuisine. Of course, he should have known with Lex cooking it wouldn't have been anything simple. Snails...he had snails.

"So, are you sure you know how to do this?" Clark asked, staring doubtfully at the ingredients Lex was assembling on the counter.

"Trust me."

Clark flashed him a look.

"Stephane sent really detailed instructions. Easy recipe."

"If you say so."

"I do." Lex asserted. He read over the recipe and then turned to Clark. "It's easy. I could make Court-Bullion in my sleep."

"Oh there's a talent." Clark snarked, earning a death glare from Lex. He grinned, and went over to stand beside Lex, peering at the recipe over his shoulder. Lex half turned to look up at him, and for a second, Clark froze, being entirely too aware of Lex's proximity. When Lex was away, it was easy to forget how just being in the same room affected him. Stop it, he told himself. He knew how to control his reaction to Lex; hadn't he done that their entire friendship? "So, what are we making anyway?"

"Escargots a' la bourguignonne. Snails in a Burgundy sauce," Lex replied with a smile.

"Sounds complicated."

"Not really. The meat's already cooking in the bullion. That'll probably take another half hour or so. Then all that's left to do is make this butter mixture that we stuff the shells with. Just chop some garlic, shallots and parsley really fine, and we mix it with butter and some salt and pepper and stuff. It won't take long."

The butter mixture had been easy to make, especially since the food processor had cut down on chopping time. Clark was actually surprised. According to Lex, all that was left to do was wait for the snail flesh to finish cooking, and they had to stuff each snail back in the shells with the burgundy butter, and cook it some more. He'd always assumed making escargot would be a lot more difficult. And honestly, he still couldn't fathom why anyone would want to eat the stuff.

"What are you thinking about?" Lex asked. He was pulling bottles out of the refrigerator. In one glass, he poured what appeared to be vodka and orange juice. He poured just orange juice into another glass and offered it to Clark.

"I don't get any special additions?"

"Too young," Lex stated with a grin. "Don't want to get in trouble for corrupting a minor." Had it been Clark's imagination or had Lex been looking him up and down while he was talking?

"You shouldn't worry about corrupting me." Clark mumbled. Lex raised his eyebrows. "I mean, I'm not...I'm not a minor anymore."

"Excuse me?"

"I'm eighteen. You know, adult in the eyes of the law."

Lex smiled, a low lazy grin. "Yes Clark, you are an adult now. Still, not old enough to drink. It would be remiss of me."

"Oh, like you waited till you were legal?" Clark scoffed. He didn't know what made him do it, but he reached forward and grabbed the drink from Lex's hand. He took a sip. The drink was slightly sweet, muted by the vodka, but smooth nonetheless. A lot like Lex.

Lex watched him, surprise evident in his features, but he didn't say anything. He opened the bottle of vodka and poured a little into the other glass before taking a sip. Clark smiled, wondering if this was a victory. He never knew what these moments with Lex were, like some bizarre chess game except Clark didn't know how to play or the rules kept changing.

"So, Clark, International Club?"

"Chloe's idea. Decided Smallville needed more cultural experiences. And then Pete decided he needed more cultural experiences."

"And how did that go?" Lex asked.

"He's being rejected in several languages." Clark smirked, causing Lex to laugh. The sound was warm and sweet to Clark's ears.

"So what about you Clark?"

"What about me?"

"Any 'international relations' on your end?"

Clark's cheeks grew warm. "Um...no. I mean, there's no one I'm interested in."

"Really?" Lex raised his eyebrows. "What about that girl Pete was talking about? Marcie?"

"Amelie." Clark corrected.

"Amelie. Pete mentioned that he thought she was interested in you."

"No, I mean, um...maybe. She's really nice and pretty and all. Her parents are actually from France and she speaks it fluently. And she heads up the French division of the International Club and everything. She's making dessert." Clark knew he was babbling. "But, um, no I'm not interested."

"Really?" Lex cocked his head to the side, watching Clark intently. "Why not, Clark? I'm sure she's no Lana Lang..."

Clark should have known at some point Lex would bring Lana up. Lana and Clark had dated briefly, after Lex left. On Clark's part, it had been a last effort to maybe reclaim some of the life he thought he'd wanted. He cared about Lana genuinely, but dating her for only a few weeks had proven to him that she'd never been more than a childhood fantasy. They were better suited as friends. Of course, no one believed him when he told them that he was okay with the break-up. He thought perhaps Pete's efforts to fix him up with Amelie were in part an effort to make him feel better about the fact that Lana already had a new boyfriend. So far, Lex had been the only one who hadn't pushed him about the breakup but it looked like that was about to change.

"I know, Clark Kent, virtue personified." Lex was saying. "But it's okay to be interested in someone. To get close. Who knows? Maybe the two of you will bond tonight."

Clark felt himself get cold. "Is this what this is about?" he asked.

"About?"

"This, helping me? About getting me with Amelie? About getting me...laid?"

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

"No," Clark found it difficult to breathe. He knew that Lex wasn't interested in him; still, why did it hurt so much to know that he was pushing Clark towards someone else? He felt his grip on his composure slip. "Maybe this isn't such a good idea," he whispered, feeling the sudden urge to leave.

"Clark?" Lex sounded bewildered and Clark knew he wasn't acting rationally. Lex wasn't out of line at all; he was acting just like a friend would in the situation, and it wasn't his fault that it just made Clark feel worse.

"I just think maybe...let's just forget this conversation."

"Clark I don't think so," Lex moved closer into his personal space, making the urge to flee even more pressing. "Obviously something is upsetting you. Please don't shut me out." The look on his face gave Clark pause. He looked hurt, like he used to when he'd ask Clark to share his secrets and Clark couldn't. Except that this turned out to be as big a secret. Maybe it wouldn't risk his life if he told Lex, but it would certainly risk his heart.

"I just...I'm mad at Pete." It wasn't the whole truth, but it was at least part of it. "I'm mad at Pete and Chloe because they roped me into this, and then couldn't even help. And I really don't want to be doing this while you're here. Don't want to be wasting whatever little time you're in town, doing this."

"Clark?" A hand on his arm, squeezing.

"I miss you." There, at least that was the truth.

"I miss you too, Clark." Why were the words so easy for Lex to say? "That's part of the reason I'm here."

"I'm glad you're here."

"I am too." Clark looked up into Lex's eyes. Intense blue orbs focused on him. "I wasn't sure..."

Clark was confused. "Wasn't sure?"

"Wasn't sure if...well, you haven't been to visit." Lex spoke casually, but his stiff posturing alerted Clark to the fact that he was nervous. Clark stepped closer to him, trying to reassure by his presence even if he couldn't figure out the words. "Not since that first time, and I thought maybe you'd gotten, well, you know, it's senior year and I know you've got a lot of friends here and..."

Lex actually thought that Clark maybe had forgotten about him? That was... "ridiculous. Lex, you're my best friend."

"I'm not here anymore."

"That doesn't change things. I mean, just because I'm not there, does that mean you're going to find a new best friend?"

"No, of course not. I guess...I just thought you'd visit more often. You know I meant it; you are welcome anytime. And I'm dying to show you Metropolis. All my old haunts."

"I'd love to see them."

"Then why haven't you come?" Lex pressed.

"It's just..." Clark took a deep breath. "The last time I was there, it hit me. I mean, here in Smallville, it always seemed to be actually harder for you being a Luthor. But it's not like that there. You're Mr. Luthor everywhere and everyone wants to know you. It didn't seem like you...like you needed me all that much."

Lex smiled wistfully. "Did it ever occur to you, Clark, that I might need you even more now?"

"More?"

Lex took a deep breath and turned around, reaching for his drink again. "You're right, Clark, in Metropolis I'm always Mr. Luthor. And everyone wants me, but they want me because I'm rich, because I'm tied to the Luthor fortune. You were the only one who never seemed to care about that. Who was ever interested in actually getting to know me."

"Oh, Lex." He hadn't thought about it that way. He forgot, sometimes, how hard it was for Lex. He loved Lex and couldn't imagine the rest of the world not feeling the same way, but most people never bothered to get past the name. Never bothered to get to know him. "I'm sorry I haven't come to visit. I promise I'll be better."

"Will you?"

"Yes," Clark nodded. "After all, I'm gonna need to know where to hang out when I start school in the fall. All the in clubs. You'll be responsible for making sure I'm the coolest freshman on campus."

"That's a deal," Lex agreed, laughing. "God knows, you'll need some help."

"Hey!" Clark yelped when he'd realized he'd been insulted. He grabbed a dishtowel and whacked Lex with it and then turned to flee when Lex tried to retaliate. Lex grabbed him by the sleeve before he could get too far. Clark tugged, trying to get free, but succeeded only in causing Lex to stumble forward, falling against him. He suddenly found himself pinned against the counter, Lex pressing against him. Clark gulped. They were very close. There was no way Lex could have missed the evidence of his interest in Lex, not when the evidence was digging into his hip.

They both looked down at the same time, Lex's mouth a perfect o.

"Something you want to tell me?"

"Would you believe," Clark squeaked, "that snails get me hot?"

Lex laughed, his breath ghosting over Clark's skin. "You know, in this town, I almost would." But he wasn't moving away. His hand stroked against Clark's on the counter.

"It's not...it's okay, isn't it?"

"Yeah, it's okay." Lex shifted, minutely, pressing even closer against Clark, eliciting a moan from him. Clark leaned in, his lips moving towards Lex's, but was stopped by Lex's hand on his chest.

"Lex?"

"We have cooking to finish." Lex stated glibly, before stepping aside and turning his attention back to the pot on the stove.

"Oh." Clark blinked, staring at Lex's back. Maybe he'd misread the signals after all? Still, it hadn't seemed that way. Fuck. He didn't know what Lex wanted. "I should go," he mumbled, cheeks flushed. He went to grab his bag but Lex stood in his way.

"Clark, you can't go. The dinner's in an hour."

"I don't care." Clark knew he sounded childish but thought maybe that would be better than actual tears. He was frustrated enough to do just that.

"Of course you care." Lex spoke to him in a tone befitting children, which was apparently what he was. A child, who wouldn't interest Lex. "You wouldn't want to disappoint Marcie."

"Marcie's a fucking pig, Lex."

"Clark, that's just rude." Lex was laughing at him. Clark growled; he didn't have to stand for this. It was bad enough that Lex obviously didn't want him, but to actually tease him, that was just mean. Best friend or not, Clark wasn't going to stick around.

"Goodbye," he bit out, grabbing his bookbag from the counter where he'd dumped it earlier.

"Stop." Lex ordered before he could walk out the door. Clark found himself obeying without thinking. Lex walked up to him, standing in front. "Where are you going?"

"I have to go," Clark insisted.

Lex laid a hand on his stomach, fingers splaying possessively over the muscles of his abdomen. The warmth of the touch seeped into Clark's skin, through the material of his shirt, making it hard to think. His cock twitched when Lex stepped closer. "Why?"

"Don't tease me," he pleaded, eyes closed, teeth clenched.

Lex smirked. He took one of Clark's hands in his own, bringing it down to his own groin, placing it over the bulge there. "Does this feel like I'm teasing?"

Clark groaned. Lex leaned into his personal space, hands tangling in his hair, breath moist on Clark's face before his lips brushed against Clark's. He pulled away for a second, looking in Clark's eyes, and then leaned in for another kiss. This time he lingered, his tongue slowly tracing the seam of Clark's lips, probing them open. Clark opened his mouth, letting Lex's tongue explore his mouth. It was wet, and messy and tender, more real than any of Clark's dreams, probably because it was real. He'd never thought they'd get here.

His hands wrapped around Lex's waist, pulling him up against his body. Lex, pressed up against his body, kissing him. It was better than good.

"Clark," Lex whispered when they broke apart. "We need to finish cooking."

"No, we don't." Clark shook his head. He really didn't want to stop now.

Lex snickered. "Yes, we do." He separated from Clark and went back to the stove. Clark glared at him.

"Stop pouting, Clark. And help me." Lex turned off the stove.

"I hate you," Clark muttered, even as he joined Lex. "What do we do now?"

"First we drain this. Then you'll stuff each of the shells with the escargot and some of the butter stuff before we stick them in the pre-heated oven. Oh that reminds me, pre-heating!"

"What are you going to be doing?" Clark asked, even as he lifted the pot to be drained.

"Supervising," Lex declared. He poured himself a little more vodka and sipped. "It's a rough job, but someone has to do it."

"Bastard."

Lex beamed.

Stuffing the shells turned out to be a little more complicated than Clark thought. The flesh was weird to handle and Clark was sure there had to be an easier way to push it into the shells. Especially since his own fingers were too clumsy and big to do it properly.

"Lex, you might have to do this. Your fingers are more...er...delicate."

Lex shot him a look. "Are you calling my hands unmanly?"

Clark grinned evilly. "No dear, they're lovely. Did you get a manicure recently?"

"Oh that does it," Lex groused. He stepped behind Clark, his fingers skimming along the hem of Clark's shirt. "I think you'll have to pay for that comment."

"Lex-damn!" Clark yelped, as a hand slid under his shirt, snaking around his waist and ascending until it brushed against a nipple. He crushed the shell he was holding in his hand when the same fingers found the nub again and twisted sharply. "Fuck."

"Clark." Lex shook his head disapprovingly. "We can't very well make Escargots a' la bourguignonne if you keep crushing all the shells." Clark growled. Lex grabbed a paper towel and helped clean the squished mess out of Clark's hand. He pulled the hand up to his mouth, sucking on a finger after he cleaned.

"I can't very well stuff if you're doing that."

Lex dropped the hand.

"Oh, I think I can come up with sufficient motivation for you to do this job as quickly as possible," Lex stated, grazing his teeth along Clark's jaw.

"You're an evil evil man."

"Let that be a lesson; always listen to your father."

"He never mentioned the benefits."

"I can't imagine he did." Lex's fingers brushed against his erection.

"Get moving, Monsieur Kent."

Clark wasn't sure how he managed to finish stuffing the shells without further incident, not when Lex found an excuse to brush up against him, or touch him, or even lick him, every few minutes, but a little while later, all the snails were housed once again in their crunchy domiciles, stuffed with burgundy butter. No sooner had he placed the dish in the oven than Lex had him pressed against a wall.

"How long do you think it takes butter to melt?" Lex asked, his fingers deftly undoing the buttons on Clark's jeans, while pressing little kisses to his face and neck.

"Not long," Clark replied. "Why?"

"Because I was curious about how long I had to do this." Without any warning, Lex dropped to his knees, pulling Clark's jeans and boxers down with him. Clark hissed as the cold air hit his already sensitive cock.

"Lex, what---ohhh God!" He moaned as Lex's tongue darted out, flicking against the leaking slit. One hand closed around the base of his cock, while Lex's lips wrapped around the head. He looked down, watching Lex take him into his mouth and groaned yet again, jerking his head back and banging it against the wall. He felt the wall shake a little, and crumble dust into his hair, but Clark didn't care at the moment.

"You're not going to last long, are you?" Lex mumbled, the words less of a question than a statement. It couldn't really be a question, not with Lex's tongue tracing the underside of his cock with a singular devotion that Clark had only seen him apply to cars and business ventures and comic books before. Clark was struggling hard here to maintain some kind of control, to not come immediately like some virgin teenager, though his brain kept pointing out the fact that he was a virgin teenager.

His cock was steadily leaking pre-come. "Lex, please," he begged, teeth clenched, despite the fact that he wasn't sure exactly what he was begging for. It was okay, though. Lex seemed to know. Without any further preamble, he swallowed Clark's cock, taking him so deep that Clark thought he would die from the sheer pleasure of it. Clark moved then, thrusting deeper into Lex's throat, despite the niggling part of his brain that warned him that he had to be careful. His hands clenched into fists at his side, fingernails digging into his own flesh. It felt like hours later, though in all reality it couldn't have been more than a few minutes, when he felt himself go, brain blanking out as he came, screaming Lex's name.

His knees grew weak, and it was all he could do to remain standing. And even that didn't last long as Lex tucked him back in his pants with a kiss. Clark slumped down to the floor with a goofy grin on his face, eyes barely open.

"Well, then, shall we check on those snails?" Lex jumped to his feet and moved towards the oven. So much for afterglow.

With a little difficulty, Clark got to his feet again, making sure that he was mostly decent. Lex was already turning off the oven, and putting on oven mitts to take the dish out. Clark stood by his side and waited until he put the dish down on a trivet on the counter, and then grabbed him and kissed him.

"Thank you," he whispered when they parted.

"Trust me, my pleasure," Lex replied, eyes gleaming. "We should probably get going if we want to make it to the dinner."

"Yeah..." Clark wished fervently that they didn't have to go. He would much rather have spent the night here, with Lex. "I wish we didn't have to go. I mean, I didn't even get a chance to...with you..."

"Are you saying, Clark, that you want to return the favor?"

"God, yes," Clark breathed. "That is, if you'll let me."

"That could be arranged," Lex grinned mischievously. "You know, maybe you should call your parents. See if maybe, since I'm only in town for a short while, it'd be okay with them if you spent the night here tonight. That is, if you want to."

"I'll call them right after the dinner." His heart raced at the thought of being able to spend the whole night with Lex, being able to touch him and kiss him like he'd always dreamed of. This whole night was like some bizarre dream come true, snails aside, and Clark was terrified of the concept of ever waking up.

"Lex," he asked hesitantly, his hand interweaving with Lex's.

"Yes?"

"This, tonight, this isn't a...I mean, it could never be for me, and I hope you know that, and I hope it's the same for you," he was babbling again. "...this isn't casual, is it?"

Lex smiled tenderly at him. "No, Clark, I promise this isn't casual."

Clark beamed. "Good, I mean, you're my best friend. Always. And I would hate..."

"Don't worry, I have no intention of letting anything stand in the way of our future," Lex's lips brushed against Clark's reassuringly, "not even International Club."

"Damn Pete." Clark swore.

Lex chuckled. "You've got to admit Pete was right about one thing, Clark."

"What's that?"

"This did help you finally get laid..."



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